It may not always be obvious to consumers, however, there is a tremendous amount of innovation happening in financial services making its way into our daily financial lives. Some well-known examples are focused on preventative situations such as receiving fraud alerts, notifications for a potential bill-pay overdraft or when approaching a minimum account balance threshold. In these situations, there is a high degree of mutual benefit for financial institutions and customers. These services may feel personalized since they concern our own finances, but they likely evolved from an institution’s desire to ensure a healthy deposit base, rather than an effort to meet consumers’ desires or expectations.

Meet me there

That’s an important distinction since meeting consumer expectations is core to the growth strategy for retail and commercial financial institutions. And not just the expectations of consumers as a collective, but of consumers individually. That’s the goal of personalization; design, produce, or allow for customization of a product, service, or marketing to meet a consumer’s individual requirements. Looking for current examples, I turned to the financial apps on my mobile device, since the mobile channel is a good target for personalization.

Despite being accustomed to using mobile financial apps, the recent ability to use face ID to log into my banking and investment apps feels more personal. Perhaps it’s because the app “knows” my face, but it’s likely because the added convenience matches my expectation. Convenience is a modern attribute we associate with great service experiences, and, thanks to technology and digital innovations, we desire convenience in every interaction. If received, it reinforces our connection with a financial institution, but convenience is an attribute rather than an example of personalization.

New features in my mobile financial apps like real-time credit scoring, cash back merchant offers, thematic stock lists, and others have the same attribute of convenience, but don’t reflect an awareness of my purchasing or investing habits. Most product and service links in the apps redirect to the institution’s website without maintaining awareness that I’m an existing customer. As it turns out, personalization is one of the more challenging capabilities to deliver in financial services, requiring holistic transformation of lines of business (LOBs), analysis of vast amounts of data, new product and delivery innovation, and adherence to privacy expectations and regulations.

Financial institutions are relying on a comprehensive digital infrastructure to support the coordinated execution of these initiatives to deliver personalization at scale. Customer Interaction Management (CIM) describes the part of this infrastructure that enables managing customer interactions across delivery channels and customer journey stages. This consists of data storage, predictive analytics and modeling, real-time decisioning, campaign management, inbound/outbound channel communications, all fed by a range of back-end data systems supporting an institution’s LOBs.

Webex ConnectOver the years, CIM silos have grown inside of the LOBs to address their needs. To unlock the business opportunities of personalization, financial institutions need to consolidate CIMs to enable integrated cross-LOB customer journeys.

Enterprise CIM requires a robust enterprise communications-platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) that facilitates rapid development of cross-channel, real-time communications solutions that are easy to create and to scale. According to IDC, the worldwide CPaaS market will grow from $5.95 billion in 2020 to $21.8 billion in 2025, benefiting from a surge in digital transformation and digital customer engagement investments by enterprises.

Webex Connect by Cisco is an enterprise CPaaS platform designed to be a single platform for all customer interactions. It consolidates the management of multiple engagement channels, featuring a robust developer API and low-code toolset that appeals to a broad base of marketing and LOB skill sets.

What’s ahead

Financial institutions use Webex Connect to create engaging experiences over any channel, delivering the convenience that consumers expect in every interaction. As financial services become more personalized, Webex Connect acts as the glue between back-end systems and communication channels, providing the capabilities to orchestrate and automate end-to-end customer journeys.

Learn more about Webex Connect or play around in the Webex Connect Sandbox.  Anyone can set up an account to try the platform features and capabilities for free.


Al Slamecka

Global Financial Services BDM

Cisco Industry Solutions Group